It’s no secret that owning a pet has measurable benefits for your health, but these benefits are typically associated with traditional pets like dogs and cats. There’s a reason, however, that doctor’s offices and health clinics all over the world have fish tanks in them. Your home aquarium could be just as beneficial for your health as the family dog. In fact, the 2019 National Pet Owners Survey shows that aquarium fish are kept as household pets in over 13 million American homes. This makes them the third most popular type of pet, after dogs and cats, of course. Keeping a home aquarium is a big responsibility, but it does have its benefits. In this blog, we will look at some of the benefits of starting an aquarium.
Reduced Levels Of Stress
It’s hard to feel stressed when you look at a thriving aquarium. There’s just something relaxing about it that calms you and the people around you. This is part of the reason why aquariums are increasingly being found in high-stress environments like workplaces and hospitals. Managing your stress levels is very important to your overall health and well-being. Not only can spending time around your tank help you calm down, but the routine of caring for your tank can also actually help your health and combat mental illness.
Improvements In Sleep Quality
There is nothing like a good night’s sleep. Sleep recharges and restores the body and also allows your brain time to rebuild memory and create new connections. Sleep doesn’t come easily for many people. Watching your fish tank before bed will help relax your body and mind enough to fall asleep, preventing you from spending half the night tossing and turning. If your fish tank is in the room where you sleep, it can also give you some white noise to help you drift off to sleep.
Lowered Blood Pressure And Heart Rate
If you feel less stress and get more sleep, the body feels better and works better. More than that, though, having a fish tank will potentially boost your heart’s health. Looking at a fish tank will slow down your heart rate and lower your blood pressure. According to one study, looking at even just an empty tank reduced the heart rate by 3%, while watching a tank with fish reduced the heart rate by 7%. If you’re struggling with high blood pressure or other cardiac health issues, having a fish tank in your home can be hugely beneficial.
Decreased Pain And Anxiety
It’s almost hypnotic watching a fish tank. Not only does your heart rate slow down and your blood pressure reduce, but you can also find your stress and worry slipping away. So it’s no surprise that aquariums have been shown to alleviate anxiety. What is more surprising though is that aquariums can also help reduce pain. According to a scientific study, having an aquarium in a dentist waiting room minimized the pain felt during dental operations as well as the amount of pain medication required afterwards.
Improved Focus And Creativity
The presence of a fish tank will relax both your body and your mind, freeing you from the tension and anxiety that could hold you back. Having a fish tank in your office will potentially boost your concentration and increase your imagination, helping you maximize your productivity. Visual stimulation of an active fish tank can also have calming effects, giving your mind something else to concentrate on for a few minutes while you’re working through a problem.
Calming Effect For Children And Alzheimer’s Patients
While fish tanks provide visual stimuli that could improve your concentration and imagination, they can also have a very calming effect. This particular advantage has been seen in children with hyperactivity disorders as well as in Alzheimer’s patients. In one study, the existence of a fish tank at home increased mood, alertness, and appetite in Alzheimer’s patients while decreasing aggressive behavior. Children who are dealing with behavioral problems will find a fish tank calming. It can increase attention and sleep, two items that can, in turn, enhance performance in school.
Many teachers use classroom aquariums to teach children about biology, water chemistry, physics, arithmetic, geography, animal behavior and more. Students can also learn to work together, keep records and engage socially in the process. Kids who care about the world around them are more aware, more optimistic, and more likely to succeed in life.
They’re Cheaper Than Other Pets
Compared to other species, keeping fish is a relatively inexpensive hobby. The cost depends on the aquarium species you plan to keep, obviously the fancier you’re going, the more costly the hobby becomes. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has found that a small dog would cost you $1,471 a year, compared to $227 for a small fish.
Perhaps one of the most popular reasons people want to keep an aquarium is that they are beautiful! Whilst fostering a feeling of relaxation and quiet, fish tanks are also an attractive addition to any home. Fish, invertebrates and corals come in a wide range of shapes, sizes and colors!
So aquariums can do a lot of things! If you own an aquarium, you will benefit from lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, improved attitude, good mental health, a continuous learning opportunity, something that’s fun and engaging, beautiful to look at and easy to look after. What more could you want?